Over the years, the inspiration and motivation for many of my month-long to year-long travel adventures have come to me in quiet Ah ha! moments. I’ll be out on a long bike ride, just pedaling blissfully along, or at home mindlessly chopping veggies for dinner and hear something on the radio, and then the next thing I know this idea starts floating through my head. Suddenly, it hits me: “Holy smokes! That’s it! That’s what I need to do. That’s where I need to go.
Now, how can I make this happen?”
When it comes to travel dreams, execution isn’t my stumbling block. Money, on the other hand, now there’s the thing that has stymied me a time or two.
But I have rarely let tight funds keeping me from going where I really need to go. It’s in my genes, I think, to keep moving. I call it mojolocity—a mashup of words that describe my curiosity and the speed of which I often move on dreams: high velocity. I don’t know if I inherited this from my restless Viking relatives or from the so-called Black Irish on my mom’s side (seeing as many of them fell off a Spanish armada and mated with Irish peasant women, so surely they had wandering eyes and travel drive). I’ll admit, I don’t like itineraries much. I am more of a wing it girl, stick the pin in the map and point my imagination toward it. Things always seem to unfold exactly as they do. I’m never disappointed.
Some people need itineraries and operating instructions, especially people who have been stuck in cubical farms for too long. If this sounds like you, someone who has no problem imagining your next adventure but gets all hung up on the details, you won’t want to miss the upcoming meet-up in your city (or a nearby one) for workerbees trying to fly the hive. It’s called “Meet, Plan, Go! Presents” A Nationwide Event to Help People Realize Their Travel Dreams.
The organizers of Meet, Plan, Go! offer travel advice and coaching for people planning a career break or sabbatical. They believe that when someone is venturing on such a life changing adventure, it’s important that they have a support community to connect with. Co-founder Sherry Ott explains the group’s mission this way: “Because we live in a society that doesn’t find value in taking time off, we wanted to create a community for people who do want to break out of the norm and travel for an extended period of time.” The details:
“Meet, Plan, Go! Presents” A Nationwide Event to Help People Realize Their Travel Dreams.
Beginning October 18, 2011, Meet, Plan, Go! will be hosting their second annual nationwide event in 17 cities to inspire people to fulfill their career break and long-term travel dreams. The event will offer participants the opportunity to MEET inspirational speakers and like-minded travelers; get motivation, contacts and resources necessary to PLAN the trip of a lifetime; and start taking concrete steps forward to GO on that global adventure.
Casual local meetups are also being held in the time leading up to the October event. “It’s about creating a peer group of people with the same dream. Whether it’s a career break, running a marathon, or earning an advanced degree; we all need people to keep us accountable, energized, and focused on our goals,” added Ott.
Every event will feature individuals who have either fulfilled their own world travel dreams or are currently in the planning stages. In addition to offering tools and resources for planning a career break, they will also address the main concerns that prevent people from taking a career break, usually centered around financial, career-related, societal, and safety concerns.
Over 2,400 people registered for last year’s inaugural event – 23% of which were in a trip planning stage pre-event. In a post-event survey, that number rose to 41%. “We want career breaks to be more acceptable in America,” says co-founder Michaela Potter. “In fact, we would love to see a career break on every resume. And with the support of our 17 inspiring hosts, their panelists, and our sponsors, including Intrepid Travel, we are making great inroads to achieving that goal.”
This year’s Meet, Plan, Go! locations include 10 returning cities and seven new ones: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington DC and Toronto, Canada.
Registration for the nationwide event is now open. For more information, visit meetplango.com.